Interview : Russell Slade : 05/04/2008
Russell Slade talks to BBC Radio Bristol after the 1-2 defeat against Carlisle
Russell Slade
Russell Slade
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Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade talked to BBC Somerset's Drew Savage after his side had lost 2-1 to Carlisle United on April 5th 2008.

DS: The thing that stood out for me was that I only noticed after the winning goal and after the final whistle just how loud this place can get. Yet for the first 92 minutes, you kept them comparatively quiet.

RS: Yes, we came with a game plan, didn't we? I thought we frustrated them. I thought we should have shot more in the first period. But the shot that we did take went in, albeit via a slight deflection. For all Carlisle huffed and puffed at times, and got some good possession, we managed to get some good blocks in and made a couple of decent saves and we kept our noses in front.

In the second period, apart from the first ten minutes, when I think it took us time to settle, Carlisle had switched to a 4-4-2 and were obviously trying to pile on the pressure, but we seemed to weather that and come into it and look at threat again. Certainly when I sent on Andy Kirk, we looked a threat on the break and in many ways we could have got ourselves at least another goal. Marvin Williams has had a great chance but didn't hit it cleanly. Andy Kirk has had a tremendous volley that produced a fantastic save from Westwood, who you've got to give credit because he has been exceptional this season. He's probably been the best keeper in League One this season and you could see why, with the save that he made.

I thought the scoreline at the end of the day was really harsh on us. We've conceded a goal from a corner that has taken two ricochets. It has hit Marcus Stewart in the eye and then come back and then it has gone in. Then the last one was a long punt up field. If you are going to be a bit ultra-critical, we looked a little too deep. He has pinned us in the box a little bit and we have allowed him to lay the ball off too easily and for Carlisle to fire home.

It's a great result for John Ward and his men. I've got a lot of time for John and I really hope they can push on now and get what they deserve. From our point of view we need to just take the positives out of today, because we're certainly not the worst side in the league. We need maybe that one more win just to finish our season off and hopefully we can do that next week against Crewe.

DS: Possibly the most important thing to take home today was the manner of the performance. To me that looked like the Yeovil Town that did so well on its travels last season and the Yeovil Town that won at Doncaster.

RS: It was certainly better than the away performances recently at Bournemouth and at Hartlepool. It was much more like us in terms of being a threat, although I thought we could have been more of a threat. We gave the ball away sometimes too easily in the first period, but at least we looked in the main organised and capable of winning a football match.

DS: And a word for Scott Guyett, because Terry Skiverton was all set to play and then was laid low by a virus this morning. So Scott stepped in and I thought had a great game at centre-half.

RS: Yes he did and in the main we defended pretty well. Scott is a good type and we need the types of Skiverton and Guyett and people like that in the football club. We're going through a transition and we've got a lot of young players out there. It's difficult for me because I don't know how long some of them are going to last. That was Birch's first performance for a while so he had to come off late on because he was starting to get cramped up. Jaime Peters has not had the football that he should have had or the season that he should have had at Ipswich and so I had to bring him off. I'm having to juggle things around to keep eleven players out there that can keep a side that is pushing for promotion to the Championship at bay and that's not easy.

DS: Again looking at the positives that is probably the best I've seen Marc Bircham play.

RS: But that wouldn't be difficult as he has only played about four times!

DS: He got in a few crucial blocks in during the first half in particular.

RS: Yes he did. The thing with Birch and I've always said this, is that a fit Marc Bircham would be in our team and number one in midfield every single week. But he is still two yards short. He has not had the fitness or the match fitness that he needs on a regular basis. But you could see little glimpses today of a midfielder with a little bit of savy and a little bit of know-how. The crowd get on his back because he is there and he is upsetting everybody and he is good to have on your side. But all too often we've been without his services.

DS: As you say, you're rebuilding, but another good game today for Nathan Smith at left-back.

RS: Yes, we've plucked him from non-league. As I've said, he was playing for a cup of tea at half time and a couple of digestive biscuits. Now he is thrown into League One and he is playing like he is playing with no fear. He goes at the defenders, he created a few little openings in the second period. We've just got to make sure that we don't display too much naivety. We were still at 1-1, the focus is still for him to defend in the right manner. Perhaps again if we're a little bit ultra-critical, in the final 15 minutes, we were all consumed with trying to get the winner, without remembering that we also needed to hold onto what would have proved to have been a valuable point.

DS: I suppose in the past there have been a few last minute winners that Yeovil have let in through defending too deep, but in this case, you're damned if you do and you're damned if you don't.

RS: Well obviously the wind was against us in the second period. The keeper can kick it a mile and he did kick it a mile and the ball goes right into our back four. You could argue that if we were further up field (for the winning goal) then the keeper could come but he can't because he has to come through a pile of players. Then he was pinned by my own defender, so Forbesy is disappointed with that, but at the same time the ball had got a lot to do to get into the back of the net and we've not picked up the one who was coming onto it just inside the box.

DS: I suppose the game with Crewe does take on that little bit more significance than it would have done had the game finished a few minutes earlier. Is it a question of putting an arm around the players on the coach on the way home, because they played very well today.

RS: They've done OK. But I think it is a question of working even harder just to ensure that we don't leave any room for error and that we get the result that we need and the result that we are capable of to finish our season off. Then hopefully we can continue to rebuild for next season. At the moment there is a bit of anxiety although you wouldn't have seen it today, and perhaps if we can keep that anxiety away from the players next week that will help finish us off.

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Next Interview : 12/04/2008 : Russell Slade talks to BBC Radio Bristol after the 0-3 defeat against Crewe
Previous Interview : 29/03/2008 : Russell Slade talks to BBC Radio Bristol after the 0-0 draw against Bristol Rovers
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08/06/2006Russell Slade is interviewed on BBC Somerset Sound's breakfast programmeView
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